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My Turn: Utah churches against marriage equality - not bigotry?

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He that will not reason is a bigot; he that cannot reason is a fool; and he that dares not reason is a slave.” ~ William Drummond

According to a story in yesterday’s Deseret News entitled, LDS Church, other faiths say same-sex marriage opposition not due to bigotry, a group of churches . . . the Baptist, Catholic, LDS, Lutheran, and evangelical churches . . . filed arguments in federal court yesterday, claiming that their joint efforts to prevent same sex couples from enjoying the same rights and marital responsibilities as heterosexual couples are not based on bigotry.
One of the more comprehensive briefs filed with the court claimed, “The accusation” (of bigotry) “is false and offensive. In truth, we support the husband-wife definition of marriage because we believe it is right and good for children, families, and society. Our respective faith traditions teach us that truth. But so do reason, long experience, and social fact.
Okay . . . I get it . . . the good folks in this group are certainly entitled to live by their beliefs.
Right?
Of course.
But do they have the right to use the law to force other good folks to live by their beliefs?
They obviously argue that they do.
After all, there certainly is historical precedence for one group using the law to impose their values on another group.
Groups in countries around the world have, for centuries, believed that their beliefs gave them the (divine?) right to write and enforce laws to force generations of human beings to live as slaves in concentration camps or on plantations.
These beliefs were so strongly rooted in some of these groups that they actually fought wars in which millions of men, women, and children lost their lives . . . to protect their legal rights to hold on to their slaves.
Is there any difference between groups who would use the law to forcefully prevent loving same-sex couples from enjoying the freedoms, rights, and responsibilities of marriage and groups that have used the law to control the lives of other groups?
Good question . . . where can we find the answer?
Could it be found in the claims made by this group of anti-marriage equality folks?
They claim, for example, to “believe it” (traditional marriage) “is right and good for children, families, and society.
The implication is that same-sex marriage is not right and good for children, families, and society but what are the facts?
According to the New York Times, about one in three lesbian couples and one in five male same-sex couples are raising children. There is, however, no credible evidence to indicate that children raised by same-sex couples are in any way harmed by their parents’ sexual orientation.
The divorce rate for same-sex couples is significantly lower than the divorce rate for heterosexual couples.
Same-sex couples are no more a burden on society than ‘traditional’ couples.
And, for those who love to argue that same-sex marriage threatens traditional marriage, I ask you, dear reader, to use reason and logic to answer two simple questions: 1. If a same-sex couple moved in across the street or (heaven forbid) next door, would that fact cause you and your opposite sex spouse to split up? 2. If a same-sex couple happened to live near or befriend your engaged son or daughter, would that fact somehow cause your son or daughter to cancel the wedding?
Of course not.
So . . . if there is no logical, reasonable, provable reason to oppose marriage equality, who on earth would try to use the law to force same-sex couples to never marry?
Bigots?
You tell me.

Comments? Questions? Contact the author at: davyjones@businesswriters.biz or Tweet: @DavyZJones

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